In July, governments at the International Maritime Organization (IMO) will set a course towards a net zero future. Shipowners want IMO to set a clear direction with increased ambition to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050, but the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) argues that this will also require specific tools.
ICS has submitted detailed well-thought through proposals to the next round of IMO negotiations. These support the development of a Global Fuel Standard as a technical measure to reduce the Greenhouse Gas (GHG) intensity of marine fuels, targeting five per cent by 2030 and with an aggressive tightening of this standard after 2030, developed with industry experts to ensure the standard will work in practice.
Simon Bennett, ICS Deputy Secretary General, comments: ‘A fuel standard will not succeed on its own. It has to be supported by a radical economic measure, which will operate across the world to incentivise the production and uptake of the low and zero GHG fuels necessary to accelerate transition to a net zero destination.’
ICS, and its members, are optimistic that governments will set a net zero target, which sends a signal to energy producers and marine fuel suppliers, charting the direction of travel. ICS argues, however, that far more critical are the decisions that governments must now urgently take about the measures that will enable the end destination.
‘Real world regulation and meaningful incentives’
Simon Bennett continues: ‘Shipowners are willing to pay into a multi-billion dollar global fund, which if structured correctly, will reduce the cost gap between conventional fuel oil and the much more expensive zero GHG fuels as they begin to become available. The ICS “Fund and Reward” mechanism is an equitable measure that will also ensure developing countries can use some of the billions of dollars that would be generated each year, from shipowner contributions, to create the infrastructure of the future while incentivising first movers to act.’
‘A growing number of governments recognise the merit of these industry proposals, but we need to ensure that those developing nations that are still concerned about the impact on their economies, of the small cost additional to marine fuel, can recognise the opportunity that this IMO fund will unlock,’ adds Bennett.
According to Bennett, ‘to produce the very large amounts of low and zero GHG fuels, such as methanol, ammonia and hydrogen, sustainable biofuels and synthetic fuels (as well as developing new technologies such as carbon capture) is going to take real world regulation and meaningful incentives, not just the adoption of a new GHG reduction target. Setting a direction of travel is important, but without the tools to get there it becomes meaningless aspiration.’
‘Governments have an opportunity this July to come together and chart a clear unambiguous course to a net zero future. Industry has provided the tools needed to reach this goal. A mandatory fuel standard with a “Fund and Reward” measure will unlock opportunity for all and ensure we reach our destination. A journey starts with a single step,’ concludes Bennett.